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Is there any regulation against a 3D printed weapon in the United States or Europe?

Some time ago, I saw an article in Israel where they had one that was not detected by the x-ray and was fully functional!

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closed as off-topic by the third dimension, Gwen, Kevin Morse, hexafraction, Matt Clark Jan 14 '16 at 0:17

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question does not appear to be about tools and applications of 3D printing, within the scope defined in the help center." – the third dimension, Gwen, Kevin Morse, hexafraction, Matt Clark
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it belongs to law.stackexchange.com $\endgroup$ – kenorb Jan 12 '16 at 23:54
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    $\begingroup$ It also might belong here. $\endgroup$ – Tom van der Zanden Jan 13 '16 at 0:05
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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because the legality of a 3d printed object doesn't deal with the manufacture of a 3d printed object itself, and can instead be asked at Law $\endgroup$ – Zizouz212 Jan 13 '16 at 0:52
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    $\begingroup$ I agree with @TomvanderZanden; a good case could be made for keeping this here. Laws and regulations can be a huge influence on an industry; the allowance or ban of certain products of said industry would seem to be relevant here. Remember, questions can be on-topic on multiple sites. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Jan 13 '16 at 2:14
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    $\begingroup$ Related meta post: Are questions involving legal issues and 3D printing on-topic? $\endgroup$ – kenorb Jan 13 '16 at 17:47
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Sort of.

Fully plastic guns are banned in the United States by the Undetectable Firearms Act, because they can pass unseen through metal detectors - a huge problem. One way around this is to insert a slip of metal into the gun, thereby making it detectable by metal detectors. 3D-printed guns made of metal - were that possible - would not violate the law.

The UFA was originally enacted in 1988, extended from 2003 to 2013, and then again until 2023. It may seem a bit unnecessary, as all-plastic guns, like the famous Liberator have structural issues that make them extremely difficult to fire when compared to a normal all-metal gun. However, then can be used.

In Europe, gun laws vary widely by country. The European Firearms Directive is the main international agreement on gun laws, but its application varies, and it does not directly address 3D-printed guns.

I'm not aware of a country that has an explicit law banning 3D-printed guns. The only countries that ban them either unintentionally cover them or ban guns altogether.

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    $\begingroup$ Many countries in Europe have a blanket ban on all firearms, be it metal, plastic or cheese. $\endgroup$ – Tom van der Zanden Jan 12 '16 at 23:48
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    $\begingroup$ @TomvanderZanden I like the idea of a cheese gun. $\endgroup$ – ArtOfCode Jan 12 '16 at 23:50
  • $\begingroup$ @TomvanderZanden I think I'd have to write a book to cover them all! I'm not familiar with gun bans in Europe (although I don't believe they cover 3D-printed guns), so I think I'll avoid going into detail about them all. But yes, a blanket ban is certainly the simplest. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Jan 12 '16 at 23:54
  • $\begingroup$ In Canada, it's illegal to carry a weapon, concealed or not, as defined in Sections 86-93 of the Criminal Code. If a 3D printed object is designed and built to be an imitation of an existing weapon, that is also illegal under Section 85 of the Criminal Code (Obviously, water guns wouldn't be illegal, especially if you buy them at a dollar store). The only exception is when following the Firearms Act. Remember, I'm no lawyer. :) $\endgroup$ – Zizouz212 Jan 13 '16 at 1:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Zizouz212 Hm, I didn't know that! Fortunately, the question restricts itself to the US and Europe. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Jan 13 '16 at 1:26

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